"The Gunner's Dream" as written by and Roger Waters....
Floating down through the clouds
Memories come rushing up to meet me now.
In the space between the heavens
and in the corner of some foreign field
I had a dream
I had a dream
Good-bye Max
Good-bye Ma
After the serng slowly to the car
And the silver in her hair shines in the cold November air
You hear the tolling bell
And touch the silk in your lapel
And as the tear drops rise to meet the comfort of the band
You take her frail hand
And hold on to the dream.
A place to stay
Oi! A real one
Enough to eat
Somewhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street
Where you can speak out loud
About your doubts and fears
And what's more no-one ever disappears
You never hear their standard issue kicking in your door
You can relax on both sides of the tracks
And maniacs don't blow holes in bandsmen by remote control
And everyone has recourse to the law
And no-one kills the children anymore
And no one kills the children anymore

Night after night
Going round and round my brain
His dream is driving me insane
In the corner of some foreign field
The gunner sleeps tonight
What's done is done
We cannot just write off his final scene
Take heed of his dream
Take heed


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"The Gunners Dream" as written by Roger Waters

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Gunner's Dream song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentHere's what I think:

    The previous song, "The Hero's Return," ends with "the gunner's dying words on the intercom" as he and the narrator were flying "over Dresden at angels one-five." The way I see it, the gunner was forced out of the bomber somehow after it was hit by enemy fire.

    The Gunner's Dream picks up from there, following the gunner as he floats or falls to the ground over hostile territory (I'm not sure if he has a working parachute or not - he says he's "floating down through the clouds," implying a parachute, but the next line, "memories come rushing up to meet me now" could be implying that the ground is also rushing up to meet him, which it would do if he were falling without a parachute). In any case, for the next few minutes he is falling through "the space between the heavens and the corner of some foreign field" with nothing to do but reflect on his situation and dream about an ideal society where war would be unnecessary and no one would have to suffer.

    He starts by imagining his parents at his funeral, saying goodbye to them, and hoping they'll remember his dream.

    He then goes on to describe this society - fairly self-explanatory, but something else happens in the background as the verse begins: some shouting, and an explosion. I think these are Germans on the ground shouting as the bombing continues, which implies two things: the gunner is getting close to the ground, and he's in for a hostile reception when he lands. One thing worth noting: the line, "no one kills the children anymore," could apply to both sides in the war, including the gunner himself. He knows that many innocent children probably died in the bombing of Dresden in which he had just participated, so his repetition of this line is probably expressing remorse as well as desperate hope for the future.

    The final verse, beginning with, "Night after night..." switches to another perspective, probably that of the man who narrated the previous song ("his dream is driving me insane" - this fits with what was said in "The Hero's Return"). He finishes relating his memory of the gunner with the last few lines. "In the corner of some foreign field, the gunner sleeps tonight," means that the gunner is lying dead somewhere in a foreign land, either killed on impact because he had no parachute, or killed shortly after landing by German soldiers or an Allied bomb. "What's done is done," meaning it's too late to help the gunner or any of the other casualties of the war, but if we "take heed of the dream," we might be able to prevent such things from happening in the future.

    A chilling song, but at the same time beautiful; both depressing, and hopeful against all evidence. My favorite on the album, though several others come close.
    Star Captainon March 05, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe more I listen to this song the more the meaning becomes clear, to me. This is an amazing amazing song, one of my favorites, and I think one Pink Floyd's songs with the deepest story. The song goes into at least two to three different points of view depending how you look at it. I believe it starts off with the father of a family (possibly Roger's father) and his point of view as he is about to die in the war.

    PRESENT
    Floating down through the clouds
    memories come rushing up to meet me now
    in the space between the heavens
    and in the corner os some foreign field
    I had a dream
    I had a dream

    The first lyrics start off with him falling through the sky, probably being ejected from a plane that has been shot down, he knows he is going to die. Memories come rushing up to meet me now(your life flashes before your eyes.)But in the space between the heavens and the corner of some foreign field (further proof that he is floating to his eventual death.) I had a dream (he has a dream, the dream he is dying for, the reason he is fighting in the war.)

    This either comes from the point of view of him visualizing his own funeral while he's falling or from his sons point of view.

    THE FUNERAL
    goodbye Max
    goodbye ma
    after the service when you're walking slowly to the car
    and the silver in her hair shines in the cold november air
    you hear the tolling bell
    and touch the silk in your lapel
    and as the tear drops rise to meet the comfort of the band
    you take her frail hand
    and hold on to the dream

    Goodbye Max goodbye Ma(he's saying goodbye to his son and his wife in his mind.)The middle lyrics speak solely of the funeral itself. And hold on to the dream (Remember what he died for. Always remember and always fight for what is right and hope that one day the world will be right. Don't let his death be a tragity, let it be further inspiration to strive for a peaceful world to live in. DON'T LET HIS DEATH BE IN VAIN.)

    THE DREAM
    A place to stay
    enough to eat
    somwhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street
    where you can speak out loud
    about your doubts and fears
    and what's more no-one ever disappears
    you never hear their standard issue kicking in your door
    you can relax on both sides of the tracks
    and maniacs don't blow holes in bandsmen by remote control
    and everyone has recourse to the law
    and no-one kills the children anymore
    and no-one kills the children anymore

    These lyrics are the dream. The dream he fought to keep alive. That people will always have a home and food. Someplace where old heros who made this dream real are once again living their lives.A place where you can speak your mind without fear. A place where everyone follows the law and you don't have to live in constant fear that others will hurt you or your loved ones. A place where children live a full happy lifes that aren't cut short.

    THE SON
    night after night
    going round and round my brain
    his dream is driving me insane

    His fathers dream is driving him insane. He wants it to be real and true but how? He doesn't want his father to have died for something that will never happen. How could the world have strayed so far from what is good and right?

    PRESENT
    in the corner of some foreign field
    the gunner sleeps tonight
    whats done is done

    In some unknown foreign soil(He died away from everything and evreyone he ever loved and possibly his body was never found.)The gunner sleeps tonight (he is dead.)What's done is done (you can't change it.)

    TO THE AUDIENCE
    we cannot just write off his final scene
    take heed of his dream
    take heed

    We cannot just write off this final scene (You can't change what has already happened but you can do something about it, you can fight for the dream. You cannot forget what he lived for, what he died for. You cannot ignore the problems with the world. A quote that sums of this line perfectly is "Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace."-- Dalai Lama) Take heed to the dream. Take heed (make it a reality.)
    taylor235on May 02, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI havent listened to it much yet... But the part 2 mins in, where the sax picks up from the last singing note is incredible.
    mikemacon June 24, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIMO Waters's "gunner" == Jim Morrisons "Unknown Soldier".


    "It's a hell of a thing to kill a man, you take away all he's got, and all he's ever gunna have."
    -Eastwood, The Unforgiven.
    elwoood13on March 17, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe first thing to know about this song and many of the songs off The Final Cut album is that they were actually written for The Wall album. I will preface my comment by adding that the song as a whole is about dreams in general shattered by the death.

    First Stanza:

    Floating down
    Through the clouds
    Memories come rushing up to meet me now
    But in the space between the heavens
    And in the corner of some foreign field
    I had a dream
    I had a dream

    In the movie, the scene dipicting Pink's Father's death is that of a Stuka Dive Bomber dropping a bomb on the installation he was using the field phone in. At the last moment Pink's father sees the diving plane.

    (Floating down through the clouds)
    Pink's father sees the diving plane.

    (Memories come rushing up to meet me now)
    Life flashing before his eyes.

    (But in the space between the heavens and in the corner of some foreign field I had a dream I had a dream)

    In the moment between the plane dropping it's bomb and the bombing hitting the installation, Pink's father realizes that his fighting for "the dream" is over.

    Stanza 2:

    Goodbye Max
    Goodbye Ma
    After the service
    When you're walking slowly to the car
    And the silver in her hair shines in the cold november air
    You hear the tolling bell
    And touch the silk in your lapel
    And as the tear drops rise to meet the comfort of the band
    You take her frail hand
    And hold on to the dream

    I take some liberties here:

    (Goodbye Max Goodbye Ma)
    Pink's Father is saying goodbye to Pink's mom (I believe here name is Maxine) and his own mother. Then he starts to talk directly to Pink.

    (After the service
    When you're walking slowly to the car
    And the silver in her hair shines in the cold november air
    You hear the tolling bell
    And touch the silk in your lapel
    And as the tear drops rise to meet the comfort of the band
    You take her frail hand
    And hold on to the dream)

    He's telling Pink to comfort his mom and bravely carry on.

    Stanza 3:

    A place to stay
    [Bloke:] "Oi! A real one..."
    Enough to eat
    Somewhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street
    Where you can speak out loud
    About your doubts and fears
    And what's more
    No-one ever disappears
    You never hear their standard issue
    Kicking in your door
    You can relax on both sides of the tracks
    And maniacs don't blow holes in bandsmen by remote control
    And everyone has recourse to the law
    And no-one kills the children anymore
    No-one kills the children anymore

    This is just a description of "the dream" Pink's Father thought he was fighting for.

    Stanza 4:

    The last stanza i thing is the coolest. It comes from two different narrators. The first is from an adult Pink.


    (Night after night
    Going round and round my brain
    His dream is driving me insane)

    Describing the pain and anguish of a life growing up trying to be the man his Father wanted him to be.

    In the corner of some foreign field
    The gunner sleeps tonight
    What's done is done
    We cannot just write off his final scene
    Take heed of the dream
    Take heed

    No descript narrator taking us back to scene of Pink's Father's death and reminding us that even if something should happen, we should never stop striving for "the dream"!
    Stoneformpallyon May 09, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentto me its like this soldier who dies in battle "in the corner of some foreign field" and as he's rising to heaven he's dreaming of what its gonna be like when he gets to heaven or wherever
    pinkubus_floydon August 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe man in this song is constantly tormented by the memory of somebody who is close to him. he remembers this persons ambition to change the world for the better, and the character realizes, that it has not happened yet, in fact, the condition of our lives may be worse.
    piperatthewallon August 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs a point of interest, the man who is remembering his fallen comrade is the teacher from 'The Wall'. This is supported by the video of 'The Gunner's Dream' - available at pinkfloyd.co.uk - in which the same actor plays him. I suppose this explains the teacher's negative attitude towards children who, from his point of view, have it easy.
    Kailsaron May 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentafter my first time listening to the final cut i thought it should have been called "the wall 2" anyhow, yeah there are a lot of links between the wall and the final cut, it should be noted that at the end of the first verse waters holds the note long, and his voice syncs up perfectly with a saxophone, unless your using pretty high quality audio its almost impossible to determine where one stops and the other takes over,
    toolucky1234on September 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentall of you are correct in your own ways... i love all your meanings and i have nothing much to add to your comments of what this songs about.. cause youve totally hit it right on.... the 2nd best song on The Final Cut... the best is The Final Cut... hehe... ironic...
    pinkfloyd_atreyuon November 29, 2004   Link

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